03 November 2017

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The welfare team at Royal Air Force Wittering was awarded a special commendation from Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray, Air Officer Commanding 38 Group, yesterday.

Honours and Awards ceremonies are formal occasions, during which Service and civilian personnel at RAF Wittering are recognised for outstanding achievements. A total of 25 presentations were made yesterday to a range of professions, trades and ranks.

All the recipients from the Honours and Awards Ceremony

RAF Wittering’s welfare team supports Service personnel and families whenever there is crisis; family problems, long-term illness, housing, finance and childcare are a few examples. The team includes RAF admin, medical and chaplaincy personnel, MoD civilians and workers from SSAFA (a service charity).

The commendation recognises the team’s energetic approach to welfare support. Continuously rising to varied challenges, they ensure personnel are supported with compassion and confidentiality. Through the welfare team families facing serious illness have benefitted from respite breaks, whilst others received support from service charities to adapt their homes for disabled children.

The RAF Wittering welfare team.

Squadron Leader Maggie Boyle is head of the welfare team. She said: “Our welfare team works unbelievably hard to improve the lives of personnel at Wittering. It’s not an easy job, but you can see the difference they make to people’s lives. I’m so pleased for them, they have absolutely earned this award.” The commendation was presented by Group Captain Tony Keeling.

A lifetime of unbroken service to the Royal Air Force was acknowledged when flying instructor Flight Lieutenant Ian Campbell received the second clasp to his long service and good conduct medal. This is a reward for irreproachable character and conduct with a minimum service of 35 years.

Group Captain Tony Keeling & Flt Lt Ian Campbell

Flt Lt Campbell joined the Royal Air Force in 1980 and has amassed a total of 8500 flying hours. He has flown Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft and Wessex and Sea King helicopters. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for outstanding leadership and skill during search and rescue operation in the Falklands in 2014.

Flt Lt Campbell is now a flying instructor on 16 (R) Squadron, guiding newly graduated officers though elementary flying training.

Flt Lt Ian Campbell

Squadron Leader Mark Pickles is Officer Commanding 16 (R) Sqn. He said: “35 years of continuous service as a Royal Air Force pilot is just outstanding. This award is absolutely merited, not only for what Flt Lt Campbell has achieved during his career, but for what his considerable experience brings to 16 (R) Sqn.”

Group Captain Tony Keeling is the Station Commander at RAF Wittering. He said: “Any military unit relies upon its people, so I’m delighted that our welfare team has been recognised for its exceptional work. A career in the Royal Air Force is more than a matter of longevity; it is how those years are spent that matter. Flt Lt Campbell’s clasp is a reflection of remarkable service to his country. Indeed, these 25 awards all reflect some measure of outstanding service across a huge variety of professions and deployed operations.”

Editor: Ed Palmer

Photographer: Cpl Paul Robertshaw & SAC Matty Smith

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2017

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